Flames of Paris

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(orig. Russ. title Plamya Parizha)

Ballet in four acts with choreography by Vainonen, libretto by N. Volkov and V. Dmitriev, music by Asafiev, and design by V. Dmitriev. Premiered 7 Nov. 1932 by GATOB, Leningrad, with Chabukiani, Jordan, Anisimova, Dudinskaya, and K. Sergeyev. It is set in the third year of the French Revolution (1792) and its action contrasts the political fervour of the oppressed people of Marseilles with the Court decadence at Versailles as the former march to Paris and storm the Tuileries. Even though originally tailored to serve the State's demand for politically correct ballet it was a rich theatrical spectacle, with choreography ranging from vigorous folk dancing to court dances and pure classical numbers (including exceptionally virtuoso variations for the men). The fourth-act pas de deux has often been performed as a gala piece. Asafiev's score drew on similarly eclectic sources, including popular songs and baroque music, while Dmitriev's designs were on an epic scale. It was staged in Moscow in 1933, with an abbreviated version filmed for the Soviet film Trio Ballet (1953) and in 2008 a revised version was staged by Ratmansky for the Bolshoi.

Subjects: Dance.

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